top of page

Valentine's Day

The third couple of today had shouted for fifty-three minutes. They had needed three minutes to stow away their coats and sit down at the beginning and another four minutes to find the next date for couple's therapy. He had forgotten her birthday; she had kissed his best friend on a night out. Drunk. There were ample reasons for shouting.  

    Sighing, Emma closed the door behind Mr and Mrs Woollgoggle. She had precisely fourteen minutes to recover and prepare. Checking herself in the large mirror beside the wardrobe, Emma took a scrunchy from her trouser pocket and tied her greying hair into a tight bun. Smiling, she glanced over at the photograph on her desk. She could always count on Marvin to cheer her up. He had supported her during college, even before they had gotten married.  

    "Thank you," Emma whispered.  

    When the Bluntfelds arrived twelve minutes and forty seconds later, Emma was ready. She greeted them with a wide smile, took their heavy winter coats and brought them a glass of water each.  

    "And, how did our little strategy work for you two?" She asked after she had sat down in her old, high-backed armchair.  

    "Lousy," Margret Bluntfeld said scowling. 
    She was a slender woman, 60 kilograms at most, and exactly forty-seven years and three days old. Emma pondered if she had also been the victim of a missed birthday. 

    "How so?" Emma asked.  

    Mr Bluntfeld pressed his lips together.  

    "I wrote down every day what I love about Andrew. But he couldn't be bothered to do it after the second day." 

    "I brought you flowers home from work on Tuesday, didn't I?" Mr Bluntfeld said silently. His lips barely moved.  

    "That's beside the point, Andrew. Mrs Smith asked about the assignment she gave us," Margret said. 

    “Which I did. Every day. Unlike you,” she added, her eyes misty.  

    The Bluntfelds did not shout. They made impressive progress. With a few targeted how-did-that-make-you-feel's, Emma pushed them into the direction of an actual conversation. Mr Bluntfeld did not like writing. He would instead tell his wife what he appreciated about her. And she had the right to remind him. It was worth a shot. Additionally, she would find a nice place for the flowers. 

    Emma watched the last couple of the day walk to their car through the spotless window of her office. It had been a busy Valentine’s Day. She was looking forward to coming home. Their warm, colourful house was calling for her.  

    Toby the tabby was already waiting for Emma at the door. He pushed his head expectantly against the shopping bag, probably smelling the expensive sirloin steaks Emma had bought for tonight’s dinner. It was their tradition. Expensive meats, red wine and Braveheart on DVD. It had been VHS the first time round. Emma set the plate down on the table in her living room and poured two glasses of wine. Before she sat down, she moved Marvin’s photograph from her nightstand to the well-laid table. Closing her eyes, Emma let the deep feeling of gratitude for his love flood her once more. Then, she opened her eyes, winked at the empty chair, and began to eat.  

bottom of page